TO: Captain Jo Liáng
FROM: Levi Brooks
SUBJECT: Report on Job to Collect Clarence Lee from Shepherd’s Moon and Deliver Him to Lilac
PATRON: Magdalene Holliday
CREW PRESENT: Captain Liáng, Levi Brooks, Percival Devolo, Evelyn Edwards, Dionaea Holliday, Sullivan Horner.
JOB OBJECTIVE: Cháoshèng hired to collect Clarence Lee from Shepherd’s Moon and transport him to Lilac
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS:
Following dinner on 9.20.2517, the Cháoshèng received a wave for DH. Her Aunt Magdalene Holliday (hereafter, MH) had a job to collect a man she required from the haven of Shepherd’s Moon and transport him to her home in Lilac. DH agreed.
Following the Captain’s consent, the crew of the Cháoshèng prepared for departure to Shepherd’s Moon. SH reported to the engine room to prepare the ship’s engines. PD plotted the course and completed his pre-flight systems check. The remainder of the crew preformed some regular maintenance or relaxed during travel. The journey to Shepherd’s Moon was uneventful.
Around midday on 9.22.2517, PD landed the Cháoshèng outside of Honey Valley at the prescribed shipyard. The crew, with the exception of PD and DG, departed the Cháoshèng and walked into town. Per Shepherd’s Moon law, no firearms were allowed on planet.
DH, EVE, and SH purchased local goods (honey and candles) from the General Store. Discussion with the clerk informed us of an annual Bloom Festival being held on the morrow. Preparations were underway. He recommended inquiring of Shepherd Yang if we wanted more details or to find a way to contribute to the celebration.
Seeking Shepherd Yang, we walked to the chapel down the street. In conversation with an attendee, we learned the mission objective, Clarence Lee (verified by photo as “Larry”), worked in the dining hall.
We entered the dining hall with hopes of putting eyes on Clarence. As we waited, we took a meal of bread and honeycomb, followed by fresh fruit. The friendly locals and wait staff spoke freely to us, confirming that “Larry” worked in the kitchen, but because of the dinner rush, he couldn’t come speak to us until after the dinner hour. We agreed.
Following the meal, DH asked for him and he was brought out to us. He was hesitant to believe her tale, and only relented when she informed him she was MH’s niece. He returned to the kitchen after making plans to meet us at the festival on the morrow. The Captain expressed suspicion; she did not trust him. She suggested DH follow Clarence into the kitchen. She did. He was gone.
Just moments after DH informed us Clarence had run, gunshots rang out close by. The crew pursued the sound. Running into the street we spied a man in a space suit standing on the balcony of the building next door, pointing a gun into a window. He demanded Clarence Lee surrender in the name of the law.
The Captain immediately ordered LB, DH, and SH around to the back of the building to see if they could enter the building and find Clarence as she and EVE watched the “lawman” out front. The local populace was wisely seeking shelter while the leaders of the community, shepherds all, calmly approached the interloper. As LB turned the corner to the back of the building, the back door burst open revealing Clarence running with a rucksack, shot. LB sprinted to follow, corralling him before he got too far. With DH, LB suggested Clarence was safer with the crew; he agreed to return to the Cháoshèng with them. SH returned to the Captain to alert her that our quarry had been caught. They all returned to the ship and the Cháoshèng departed Shepherd’s Moon with haste.
The escape from Shepherd’s Moon went almost smoothly. EVE scoured the cortex for any news of Clarence Lee or pursuit and found none. Unfortunately, in doing so, there was a slight malfunction with the communications system, but it was able to be repaired in short order. DH was also able to patch up Clarence’s wound.
We arrived at Lilac on the morning of 9.23.2517.
MH was overjoyed to see DH and prepared for the crew a selection of her homemade pies and drinks. Following some brief moments of reunion, MH took Clarence out to the stables to study her horses and their sickness. DH attended as well and discovered that the horses were ill from an excess amount of fluoride in their drinking water. She helped save one of the horses before breaking her scanner. SH was able to fix it, but the scope of the job changed.
MH immediately suspected her neighbors, the Edwards family, of spiking her water and requested as a subsequent job: destroy their farm. The Captain declined to do this, but to prevent MH from pursuing this through other means, she agreed to investigate and see if she could find evidence of tampering.
We followed along Blue Creek towards its source testing it at various spots for the poison. Testing proved out that the water was tainted well above the location of the Edwards farm. Their water would be tainted as well. The Edwards’ were not responsible.
Our walk led us to a facility of the Blue Sun Mining Company. It was securely kept, with security cameras and fencing. EVE was able to aid in combating the security system and once inside the structure she helped identify that the machinery inside was malfunctioning and dumping an inordinate amount of fluoride into the local water supply. EVE’s expertise also allowed us to secure copies of their internal documentation revealing the company knew about the problem, had attempted to fix it, but was unable to successfully complete the work. They proceeded anyway.
There was some discussion about what to do with the information, but ultimately, the Captain decided to approach the local authorities. DH warned us that MH would not be pleased. However, with the evidence in hand, we visited the Marshal, Wyatt Kidd. When presented with the evidence, Marshal Kidd agreed to pay them a visit with a Cease and Desist order, stopping their operations until the machinery was properly fixed. With a positive resolution secured, the crew returned to MH’s farm.
As DH predicted, our report didn’t sit well with MH. Also, we discovered she had begun discussions with Boyd Elmore (hereafter, BE) to blow up the Edwards farm regardless. DH and the Captain discouraged them and it appeared we secured a successful completion of the job.
MH’s alarms sounded. MH cried out in dismay that “Reavers” were attacking Lilac in force. The farm’s defensive fortifications immediately slid into place, locking the doors and dropping steel reinforced barriers over the doors and windows.
The fortifications activated so quickly, however, that PD and EVE were trapped outside. With no way to get them inside, they quickly made a run for the Cháoshèng and were fortunate to make it inside and take off before any attacking Reavers could reach them.
The invasion was real. The fight was engaged on two levels: in the skies and at the farmhouse.
In the skies, PD and EVE reacted with speed and aplomb. They manned the laser cannons using them to destroy three Reaver vessels. EVE hacked the computer systems to disable a fourth. They even assisted in eliminating the remaining creatures attacking the house to help staunch their mad rush and provide those of us inside a last chance to escape with our lives.
At the farmhouse, the largest immediate threat came at the front. LB and SH gathered there with the Captain as well as MH and BE. DH ran upstairs with some farm hands to operate the machine gun turret she recalled being there. She fired the weapon at an approaching ship, but missed, being out of practice with the gun. The Reavers, though, evading the fire, lost control of the ship and crashed it directly into the attic. DH was thrown back on impact, slamming into the far wall and breaking her arm.
MH, the Captain, SH, and LB each fired their guns through the gun sights dropping the Reavers wherever they could. BE tossed a small disk which impacted one in the side of the head, then exploded killing it and the two adjacent creatures. The fight did not proceed well, for all, however. All we could do was watch as farm hands caught outside were overtaken and captured by the onrushing Reavers. There was no way to save them but to kill all the Reavers we could. In this first round of action, the Captain was struck in her right shoulder by a piece of shrapnel; MH was wounded in her shoulder as well.
The Captain and BE continued attacking the approaching horde and destroyed all those remaining out front. Reavers poured into the attic from the crashed vessel. DH shot one dead and escaped the sight of another. With the threat up front eliminated, LB rushed to the back of the house and aimed to fire at a Reaver attempting to claw its way through the fortifications. He raised his rifle but his hand was bit before he ultimately levelled the gun and killed the creature. The Reavers from the attic rushed down the stairs, surrounded MH, and subdued her as she screamed out. SH ran upstairs having heard DH’s cry, but before he could level his pistol, a Reaver jumped him from the side, knocking him into a wall and he fell to the floor unconscious.
DH regained her footing only to see Reavers moving through the bedrooms dragging SH and MH behind them. Responding quickly, she raised her gun and fired, but missed as she braced the gun with her broken arm and the pain upon kickback disrupted her aim. LB, hearing the cry, rushed up the stairs and put a bullet through one’s head. Another rushed him, but LB reacted quickly enough and killed the last of the Reavers upstairs. BE tossed another bomb out the back, but the Reavers rushing the back proved too strong for the fortifications there and broke through, taking BE out of the fight. The Captain shot another, keeping her footing as another broke into the house. In this moment, the Cháoshèng destroyed the remaining Reavers outside the back of the house. The Captain killed the last one to make it inside. The fight at the farmhouse was over.
It was clear, however, the threat remained. We had no time to waste. With the fighting calm, the Captain called down the Cháoshèng, we collected our injured crew (as well as MH and BE) and spirited away aboard the ship before any more reached us. We saw that the neighboring Edwards’ farmhouse had been destroyed by a crashed ship. In addition, smoke billowed into the skies from what DH reminded us was the town center. She worried about Marshal Kidd before she recalled that he had intended to visit the Blue Sun Mining Company. With the Captain’s permission, PD piloted the Cháoshèng low over the facility, but it remained secure. Its fortifications had withstood whatever the Reavers had thrown at it.
The Captain directed PD to leave Lilac and the Cháoshèng escaped into the black.
o Levi Brooks: bite to left hand.
o Dionaea Holliday: broken left arm.
o Sullivan Horner: possible concussion; monitoring.
o Captain Liang: shrapnel in right shoulder.
o Magdalene Holliday: possible concussion, several scratches and bites, full evaluation unknown.
o Boyd Elmore: possible concussion, cuts and bites, full evaluation unknown.
- Cháoshèng: Minor laser cannon damage to the starboard hull. Repairs implemented and ship is functioning optimally; safe for travel. Repairs to cosmetic damage to be completed at a later time.
- Lilac: We left the hometown of MH and BE overrun by Reavers. The family farmhouse of MH also suffered significant damage including a Reaver vessel crashed into the attic. The home is presumably lost or at best will require months of reconstruction and decontamination. Additionally, the house experienced a general failure of the home defenses and fortifications. Not least, the loss of life amongst MH’s staff and farm hands was significant if not complete.
- Successful completion of the original objective and payment received.
- Additional assistance provided in solving the sickness among the Holliday farm stock as well as exposing to the local authorities (Marshal Wyatt Kidd) the knowing mismanagement of the Blue Sun Mining Company facility.
- I recommend PD and EVE for special recognition and a bonus for their skill in manning the Cháoshèng during the fight with the Reavers and saving her from more significant damage.
ONGOING CHALLENGES AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
- Upon receiving her message from MH, DH readily accepted the job prior to gaining the direct consent of the Captain. Family obligations aside, this bypassed typical protocol. Reinforce standard protocol for bringing potential work to the Captain for her review prior to acceptance.
- We were put into a potentially dangerous situation when the “lawman” smuggled a firearm into Honey Valley. If this altercation escalated we could have been at a severe disadvantage. I recommend we institute some formal training of the crew in hand-to-hand combat and consider ways to secret more substantial weapons on ourselves, for just such an emergency.
- There were some moments in Honey Valley where SH expressed discomfort at being in town, explaining only when pressed that he doesn’t like being around shepherds or religion. We escaped any repercussions in Honey Valley, but the larger point remains: as representatives of the Cháoshèng, the crew should be encouraged to express themselves in public with tact and self-restraint, respecting the customs of the local populace and avoiding altercations wherever possible.
- Some personal dynamics bear watching. While on Lilac, there was visible annoyance – perhaps jealousy? – in the demeanor of SH when confronted by the familiar banter between Marshal Kidd and DH. His temper revealed itself at an inopportune time and could easily have escalated if DH and the Marshal were more sensitive to it. If the Captain sees personal feelings getting in the way of a smooth-running ship, she should recommend appropriate boundaries to crew relationships.
- Most importantly, the crew should practice, rehearse, or at the very least discuss tactical decision making. Thankfully, we all reacted with intelligence and courage in the face of the Reaver onslaught, but we were lucky, too. It can’t hurt to be more prepared, not only for Reavers, but also for attempts by the Alliance or pirates to board the Cháoshèng.
- We should discuss reporting the incident on Lilac to the Alliance. Reports of Reavers are typically dismissed as hoaxes or myths. If we weren’t certain before, we all now know how real they are. What is our responsibility to those left behind? What is our responsibility to speak the truth?